SUN CANCER PREVENTION
SAVE YOUR SKIN - ABCDE METHOD

Most cases of skin cancer - whether melanoma or non-melanoma cancers - are due to unprotected sun exposure.

YOUR QUESTIONS
OUR ANSWERS

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How can I protect my skin from the sun?

It's best to protect your skin every day to avoid long-term damage. Sun-exposed areas should be protected with sunscreen as well as shade, hats and sunglasses where possible. When exposed to high UV levels you should reapply your sunscreen regularly and use additional protection such as clothing as much as possible. Dr Cara McDonald, Dermatologist – Complete Skin Specialists

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What is the best sunscreen for sensitive skin?

Choose a sunscreen formulated especially for sensitive skin which is fragrance free and free from other irritants such as parabens. If you have had an adverse reaction to sunscreen in the past, then is always advisable to test the sunscreen in a small area for a few days prior to applying it over the whole face. Dr Cara McDonald, Dermatologist – Complete Skin Specialists

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Does a spray tan protect you from the sun?

Unfortunately a spray tan offers no effective level of sun protection. The tan like a dye in the outer layers of the skin but has no protective effect. Fake tanning is much safer than conventional tanning from the sun but it is still essential to use regular sun protection to avoid unintended damage after using fake tan. Dr Cara McDonald, Dermatologist – Complete Skin Specialists

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How can I protect my skin from the sun without sunscreen?

Without sunscreen it is difficult to obtain complete protection from the sun if outdoors. Sun-protective clothing, hats, sunglasses and shade are great additions to reduce sun damage but due to reflection of sunlight we cannot completely protect our skin outdoors without using sunscreen. Dr Cara McDonald, Dermatologist – Complete Skin Specialists

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How can I protect my face from the sun?

The face is the most frequently exposed area. It's important to develop a daily habit of high SPF protection on the face. This will reduce the sun damage throughout one’s life. However even with daily sun protection, direct sun exposure on the face should be avoided where possible using hats, shade and sunglasses. Dr Cara McDonald, Dermatologist – Complete Skin Specialists

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TRUE
OR FALSE

SUN CAN MAKE
YOU AGE PREMATURELY.

TRUE

UVA rays disrupt skin’s inner building blocks such as collagen and elastin fibres. Over time,sun exposure causes a loss of plumpness and elasticity as well as wrinkles. UVB rays also stimulate patchy and irregular pigment production leading to dark spots and a sallow complexion. Globally, these changes in the skin are known as photo-ageing.
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NO NEED TO WEAR SUN
PROTECTION WHEN IT'S CLOUDY.

FALSE

Even on a grey and rainy day, skin is exposed to UV rays that will gradually cause the stigmata of photo-ageing to appear. To fully protect your skin, opt for sunscreen every day, not just when it’s warm and sunny. 
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THE EARLIER A SKIN
CANCER IS DETECTED, THE BETTER.

TRUE

If detected early, 90% of skin cancers are curable. That is why screening is so important between dermatologist visits to keep an eye on your moles and those of your loved ones. And of course, make sunscreen a daily non-negotiable to protect your moles and prevent skin cancer.
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SUN & CANCER PREVENTION
SAVE YOUR SKIN - ABCDE METHOD

Why is the sun dangerous? UVA and UVB rays trigger changes at the heart of our cells leading to DNA damage. In the long term, this damage can cause skin cancer.
Although talking about cancer is always scary, 90% of skin cancers are curable if detected in time*. And, crucially, skin cancer highly preventable with the right sun protection.
*www.euromelanoma.org/press, EPI factsheet 2014

PRACTICAL STEPS
TO PREVENT SKIN CANCER

  • To prevent skin cancer, a few simple steps should always be followed:
  • Engage in smart protective behaviours in the sun, such as avoiding exposure at the sunniest times of day and wearing protective hats and clothing.
  • Protect your skin with broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30.
  • Check your moles using the ABCDE method (and consult your GP or a dermatologist if you notice anything that concerns you).
  • See a dermatologist regularly for a full-body mole check.

WHO IS MOST AT RISK
OF SKIN CANCER?

"When it comes to the dangers of the sun, some people are in a higher risk group. This includes people with a fair phototype (light eyes, skin and hair), people with a large number of moles and/or a family history of skin cancer, people who suffered 5 or more blistering sunburns under the age of 20, and those who regularly use tanning booths. "

If you are in a high-risk group, mole-checking is something you should do on a regular basis – Remember, 90% of skin cancers are curable if detected in time*.
* www.euromelanoma.org/press, EPI factsheet 2014

THE ABCDE METHOD
FOR SKIN CANCER SCREENING

Recognised by dermatologists, the ABCDE method is helpful in identifying suspect lesions with the naked eye.

Red flags to keep a careful eye out for include:

  • The sudden development of new moles, since 8/10 melanomas arise from new moles rather than pre-existing moles.
  • Changes in the size, shape or colour of existing moles.

Did you
know?

DidYouKnow_Desktop_1

Just 5 sunburns before the age of 20 can increase the risk of melanoma by 80%*.

*Skin Cancer Foundation www.skincancer.org

DEAR
READERS

The information displayed here is intended for general educational purposes only and should not in any case be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any medical question.